School is almost out, and soon Booksmart will be in theaters. Leading up to the comedy’s May 24 release, Teen Vogue has an exclusive first look at some photos from the film, paired with interviews with the movie’s stars. Mild spoilers ahead.
When Booksmart stars Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein moved in together during the film’s shooting, Kaitlyn gifted her castmate vegan cookies. But like many roommates, the good intentions went awry after she ended up eating the goodies herself in the middle of the night. Isn’t that typical best friend behavior, anyway?
“Beanie and I were cast as Molly and Amy, and we hadn’t even met yet and our first meeting was with Olivia [Wilde],” she tells Teen Vogue. “Olivia said we hugged for about 45 minutes. It was just pretty instantaneous, our bond.”
That connection is clear on-screen with all the antics, banter, and ridiculousness that Molly and Amy find themselves in throughout the Olivia Wilde-directed Booksmart. The film follows the BFFs who spent their high school careers forgoing partying for studying in order to get into elite universities. But when they find out that all the party kids also got into good schools, Molly convinces Kaitlyn’s Amy to join her in making up for lost time by crashing the cool kids’ end-of-year bash.
Born in Phoenix, Arizona, before eventually relocating to Los Angeles, Kaitlyn has a slew of other roles that audiences might recognize her from. Her first major gig was as Gwen Thompson in the American Girl film An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong. She’s also popped up in a number of movies including The Spectacular Now and Bad Teacher. But most people probably know her from a multi-episode stint on Justified or her main role as Eve Baxter on ABC sitcom Last Man Standing that she’s been on since 2011. But Kaitlyn was particularly excited to join Booksmart as Amy, since someone was allowing her “to be funny and in a leading role.”
Together, Molly and Amy are quite the duo, practically attached to the hip and sharing almost every secret (including the use of a panda plushie as a masturbation helper). Between the two girls, Amy is the more reserved one who often lets Molly take the reins in the friendship. Kaitlyn’s character is also queer and still a bit shy about making moves on crushes, including a skater chick named Ryan. Amy’s quieter personality balances out with Molly’s Type-A tendencies, especially when it comes to finding themselves in situations such as getting into an Uber driven by their principal and accidentally doing a hallucinogen given to them by Billie Lourd’s Gigi. It’s in trying to navigate these moments that Kaitlyn shows off her comedic chops.
“The key to this movie, it’s something that I talked to Olivia about in the early stages, is that we were never trying to land a joke. We were never trying to make it funny,” Kaitlyn says. “What’s funny about these two girls and their relationship is their intelligence and their banter between one another and the references that they have so quickly at the top of their head.”
Amy also has one of the most beautiful scenes in the movie after finally mustering up the courage to talk to Ryan at the party. After some conversation, they head on over to the pool for some swimming shenanigans. The camera follows Kaitlyn as she glides underwater with Sufjan Stevens playing in the background.
“The first time I saw the scene in the movie, I had this feeling of, gosh, that is exactly what it feels like to have a huge crush on someone and to finally be making that first big move that you’ve never made before, feeling anxious and excited all at the same time,” she says. “[Olivia] really just nailed that feeling so well in that scene.”